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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was my 19th birthday the other day and, as a present from the parents, I will get some money to spend on some sort of antique. I think maybe a vintage watch would be a sound idea, as I have heard that they keep their value well, as well as the fact that I like them. However, I do not want to break the bank. I have a Tank Francaise in steel from my 18th birthday, which I am not looking to replace as my everyday watch. I think the most I will want to get money-wise this time around is about £600 at the outside, as this would in part also be a present for getting into Oxford.

Criteria include being automatic (Having said that, do you guys find manual-winding watches to be a pain at all?), being round, and having a strap rather than a metal bracelet.

At the moment I am leaning towards a 9kt gold Omega with a black strap I saw in Kayes on the Strand (for about £595). There is an almost identical model which is gold-plated for only £395... Is it a good idea to go with a gold-plated watch ratehr than a gold one? My grandfather went gold-plated, and now the gold has come off in various places, making the watch look hideous... Or there was a steel Longines Conquest for £495 - but with this I am conscious that Longines is not such a prestigious name as Omega, and I have heard that names are very important in terms of how a watch keeps (or loses) its value... Also there are many manual-winding Omehgas which are at about the £400 level. What do you guys think? Sorry to ramble so much...
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Omega make very good watches. Don't get a quartz movement. Get a mechanical/automatic movement. If you can get a gold watch great. don't get a gold plated one.

Baume Mercier also make very nice watches. In your price range of $1100-1200 US dollars, it is hard to find a gold watch. TAG makes good watches in that price category, as does Orvis.
 

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Also look at Oris and Hamilton, for a bit more money Sinn makes an excellent watch.

Do NOT get a gold plated watch. Mechanical only, not necessarily automatic (hand wound is OK, quartz is not).

Since you are looking at vintage watches, you may be able to find a good piece in your price range. Vintage IWCs can be found in that range.
 

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If you like fine vintage timepieces, you will come to appreciate the daily ritual of hand winding your watch. I own manual and automatic watches and appreciate both.

A few nice vintage watches that come to mind include: Gruen Curvex, Hamilton, IWC, Longines (a more respected brand 50 years ago than today), Waltham, Omega, Universal Geneve, Elgin, etc. I'm not familiar with UK pricing, but you should be able to find a nice watch in a 14k YG case for not too much. Take your time and shop around. I highly recommend spending some time at www.timezone.com -- check out the vintage watch page.

Hope this helps,
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks!

That's very helpful, thanks! Am now considering a manual-winding awatch, and definitely will not go with a plated one. There's a vintage Longines Conquest which I am thinking about, costs £500...but then I checked the present Longines website, and the latest version of the Conquest watch costs about the same amount! Do you guys think that, as an investment, the vintage Conquest would be a bad bet?
 

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I know you want something that holds its value over time, but considering this is a birthday gift, you probably should not care too much about the monetary value of the watch years from now. Just pick something that you think looks nice and makes you happy to wear it or have it as part of a collection. A watch is a very personal item, and a watch received as a gift will generally mean more to the recipient than it does to anyone else in the world.

If you are looking for a good investment, there are much better things to invest in than watches...although I might advise against the stock market for the moment.
 
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